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Friday, May 12

  1. page Adam Amello, Eco-Literacy edited The Development of my Eco-Literacy {Washington State - Green Cavern.jpg} "Green Cavern&qu…

    The Development of my Eco-Literacy
    {Washington State - Green Cavern.jpg} "Green Cavern" - Washington StateGreetings everyone,
    As I think back to my early childhood and my more boisterous teenage years, many memories of rich natural experiences come to mind. During my younger years I was fortunate to have a family that took every opportunity – whether over the March, summer, or winter breaks – to travel and to explore the many natural and man-made wonders of North America. From the Cape Breton highlands to the Rockies and the West Coast, from the Grand Canyon to the Appalachians of the American East Coast, and from Algonquin Provincial Park to Key West Florida, I’ve driven throughout the continent extensively. In fact, I often feel a little like Johnn Cash – “I’ve been everywhere man.”
    When I contemplate and study the environment today, it’s often the natural images from my many trips that flash across my mind to serve as the anchor for new learnings. Being immersed in natural settings through family experiences has certainly been something that acted to elevate my ecological literacy by cultivating the development of my biophilia. Seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting first-hand what it’s like to be engaged with nature is something that has inspired me and planted a deep-seated curiosity within myself about the world around me. I suspect that since many of my most memorable family moments have been shared in a natural context, I’ve naturally developed a sentimental affinity for the environment. Perhaps this connection is part of the reason why I was always drawn, in my youth, to watch documentaries concerning nature and the broader world on networks like Discovery (back when they actually showed respectable documentaries on the subject instead of mind-numbing reality TV).
    {AA - Tobermory.JPG} Tobermory, Ontario
    As I transition into my later 20’s and early 30’s, I know that it’s the resonating impressions and mindful experiences of my youth that drive me to become more informed about and protective of the natural systems upon which all life depends. This drive, more than anything, is what motivates the continued development of my eco-literacy.
    Below I’ve decided to include a selection of photos from throughout my life, taken from my many week and month-long road trips across the continent. Now that I think on it all – driving across the continent in a rather large car or SUV wasn’t the most environmentally friendly thing to do. And yet the experiences I’ve had and shared along that road have shaped my globally/environmentally minded self today.
    - Adam Amello
    {Cape Breton Clips.jpg} Cape Breton Highlands {Cape Breton Forest.jpg} Cape Breton Highland Forest {East Coast.jpg} The East Coast of Canada {Sunrise Florida Keys.jpg} Sunrise - Florida Keys {Athabaskan Glacier.jpg} The Athabascan Glacier near Jasper, Alberta {GrandCanyonSpan.jpg} The Grand Canyon
    COMMENT
    Ummm...I'm not sure how to left justify the text...
    First, thanks, Adam, for sharing your beautiful pictures. They really do inspire reverence for nature and you can’t help but feel a sense of awe when you look at the natural wonders presented. I know only all too well, though, that showing pictures to family and friends doesn’t even come close to the power of experiencing natural and man-made wonders in reality. The picture only allows you to use your sense of sight whereas hiking through the Canadian Rockies, for example, allows you to use all of your senses and fully appreciate the majestic beauty before you. I do love, though, how following an experience, a photograph can bring all of your senses to life as if you are not only seeing but touching, hearing, smelling and tasting, all over again. You must have really enjoyed looking through photos from your travels in order to find some for your wiki contribution.
    I wanted to reply to your comment that your globally/environmentally minded self came from driving across the continent in an SUV- not very environmentally friendly. This reminded me of how many times my husband and I have felt like hypocrites when we’ve asked family to stop using bottled water or we’ve criticized the number of single occupancy cars on the road and then we’ve hopped on a plane to fly from, say, Singapore to Vietnam. I don’t know if it’s just a convenient excuse for me to travel, but I really do believe that my value and appreciation for the natural environment and my respect for cultures has come from my travel experiences. “Getting my hands dirty” has left an impression on me that has brought me on a life journey that has led to decisions such as being a one car family, volunteering at a local food bank and taking this online course. Although we’ve tried to make sustainable choices while traveling- staying at local, family run establishments, eating at restaurants that are training street children in the culinary arts, and leaving only footprints behind when enjoying natural wonders, I still wonder if I am just finding ways to justify that negative environmental impacts of travel. Slavoj Zizek and his criticism of conscious consumerism comes to mind…
    Angela

    (view changes)
    1:59 pm

Saturday, January 11

  1. page home edited ... Meet the team of contributors who are responsible for putting together, maintaining and updati…
    ...
    Meet the team of contributors who are responsible for putting together, maintaining and updating this wiki!
    Current Students:
    Past Students:
    Sarah
    Vicky
    Tim
    Past Students:
    Chantal Houde
    Kristeen McTavish
    ...
    Melaina G
    Program Instructor:
    Leigh Bird
    Course Designer:

    Natalie Robinson
    (view changes)
    10:15 am

Thursday, December 12

  1. page Assessing Ecoliteracy Activities edited On this page we will be using a simple rubric to assess the effectiveness of some of our learning a…
    On this page we will be using a simple rubric to assess the effectiveness of some of our learning activities.
    Here is a copy of the rubric for your reference. We won't be assessing this material point by point, but rather using it as a guide to direct our thinking about these creative ways to get children absorbing some ecoliteracy....
    Outdoor Art Activities
    Natural Dyes
    (view changes)
    3:30 pm
  2. page Assessing Ecoliteracy Activities edited ... Citizen Science Activities Another annual monitoring event is the Great Backyard Bird Count. …
    ...
    Citizen Science Activities
    Another annual monitoring event is the Great Backyard Bird Count. “The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent”. http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/
    *
    Whoever put this up didn't do us any favours by not directing us to their favourite part of the website. It's a huge amount of area to cover and the teacher generally wants to be able to grab a topic and run with it pretty quickly. Getting involved in a bird count, or turtle count or sand watch can be super exhilirating, because you can amalgamate your findings and compare to others around the world or in your own town...
    http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/priority-areas/sids/sandwatch/
    I suggest students of this course find one citizen science project they like a lot and work it up into a little plan of some kind. that way it would be a great place to start for either a school teacher or an informal teacher such as a Brownie Guider or Environment Club leader.
    Great idea, needs work - 2 out of 5
    Making Musical Instruments - Tim McKillop
    This lesson would begin with a study of local historical settlers. Students would be introduced to a number of instruments that were made in the local area. A few examples will be presented to allow the students to examine and play. Students would then be asked to guess the types of materials with which the instruments were made and where the material may have come from. This part of the lesson is important because it would help students focus on the connection between the local environment and the people who live there. The forest is not a stranger and we need it for our daily lives.
    After the introduction we head right out into our natural world, beginning with some basic observations of our surroundings. Students may be guided in using each of the five senses to concentrate and set their minds to the things around them. After a couple of minutes students would be shown trees and shrubs that the local instruments came from. (If available a local musician would be invited to demonstrate the process of selecting the wood and creating the instrument.)
    Before continuing on with the lesson, have the students share their thoughts and ideas to this point with the group.
    Now we begin the process of creating our own instruments. For example; with younger children I would ask them to discuss what materials in our surroundings would be good to make noise inside a shaker type musical instrument. The students would gather these materials and place them inside a variety of containers depending on the size of their selected materials. They should be encouraged to experiment with sounds and combinations of materials to get the effect that they desire. Once they are complete they may be taken back to class with them. Depending on the age of the students involved the lesson can be adapted to include more complex instruments, such as, reed flutes.
    When all of the students were happy with what they have created I would try to organize a small wood themed orchestra.
    A useful link for making shakers can be found at:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5938774_make-musical-instrument-shaker.html
    Children have a natural affinity for nature. Lessons like this one can cover a wide range of subject matter in a very effective way as they are hands-on and highly engaging. The joy of creating something with their own hands from material they have collected themselves can be a transformative experience. These experiences will undoubtedly be shared with their friends and family. I remember a few years ago taking some grade 6s out to make Labrador Tea. For days after I received calls from parents reporting that they were amazed by what their children were doing, and were even making the tea for supper. Excellent stuff!
    Tim did a nice job of walking us through how he would approach the introduction of naturally made instruments to different aged group children. There is tons of hands on learning here and this is something that could be worked on over a long period of time - a school term for instance - culminating in a concert at the end of the term, perhpas for parents. Much like the natural dyes and the clothing/products/face painting aquired from dyes, these instruments are like a window into an older, simpler time when people had more time and less "things" and therefore used their imaginations and the music within them to entertain themselves and others.
    Great job and great activity - 4.5 out of 5

    (view changes)
    3:26 pm
  3. page Assessing Ecoliteracy Activities edited ... An art display could be mounted of the work the students put together, and the teacher could m…
    ...
    An art display could be mounted of the work the students put together, and the teacher could make sure someone is photographying or videoing any performances or works in progress. Students could take what they learn from this and go on the internet to find out a lot more about using dyes that are indigenous to their area, or around the world.
    I definitely think this activity could leave students wanting to learn more - they may wish to plan another hike to gather more stuff to experiment with, and even go to a farmers market and experiment with local fruits and veg as well as wool from local sheep, etc.
    ...
    very nicely. I would give this idea a 3 out of 5
    Citizen Science Activities
    Another annual monitoring event is the Great Backyard Bird Count. “The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent”. http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/
    Whoever put this up didn't do us any favours by not directing us to their favourite part of the website. It's a huge amount of area to cover and the teacher generally wants to be able to grab a topic and run with it pretty quickly. Getting involved in a bird count, or turtle count or sand watch can be super exhilirating, because you can amalgamate your findings and compare to others around the world or in your own town...
    http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/priority-areas/sids/sandwatch/
    I suggest students of this course find one citizen science project they like a lot and work it up into a little plan of some kind. that way it would be a great place to start for either a school teacher or an informal teacher such as a Brownie Guider or Environment Club leader.
    Great idea, needs work - 2 out of 5

    (view changes)
    3:18 pm
  4. page Assessing Ecoliteracy Activities edited On this page we will be using a simple rubric to assess the effectiveness of some of our learning a…
    On this page we will be using a simple rubric to assess the effectiveness of some of our learning activities.
    Outdoor Art Activities
    Natural Dyes
    Try making some natural dyes using items from nature. Dyes can be made from berries, root vegetables, leaves and flowers, and more! Try collecting items from the world around you to create dyes, then use them to tie-dye a cotton bandana or use them to paint with. If you use dyes on fabric, you'll need to use a fixative to get the colours to stay if you choose to wash your creation. A great guide to colours you can get from nature can be found here:
    http://www.pioneerthinking.com/crafts/crafts-basics/naturaldyes.html
    This activity has a lot of potential for learning. With adult support and either a way to warm up some natural things on the stove, or even better, on a campfire, students between the ages of 7 and 11 would benefit greatly in this hands- on experiment.
    Stuff they might learn or that might come up:
    -People in "olden days" used everything around them to make colours
    -These people probably made their own clothes - what did they make their clothes out of?
    -Some dyes are appropriate for your skin (like "war paint") What cultures would have dyed their skin in olden days and what cultures dye their skin these days? If you've ever been to a muslim wedding.....wow! and of course we have tatooing which is very popular today ( not recommned to try by students!)
    -What dye from plants or berries set naturally and what need a fixative
    I like this activity for a lot of reasons. It has simple materials to gather - some white t shirts could be repurposed for this. It has a lot of potential to learn about local history, cultural practices, a little chemistry and performance could be integrated. The students could decorate themselves and their clothing and put on a play.
    An art display could be mounted of the work the students put together, and the teacher could make sure someone is photographying or videoing any performances or works in progress. Students could take what they learn from this and go on the internet to find out a lot more about using dyes that are indigenous to their area, or around the world.
    I definitely think this activity could leave students wanting to learn more - they may wish to plan another hike to gather more stuff to experiment with, and even go to a farmers market and experiment with local fruits and veg as well as wool from local sheep, etc.
    The link is good, and this activity could be flushed out very nicely.

    (view changes)
    3:07 pm
  5. page Assessing Ecoliteracy Activities edited ... our learning activities activities. Outdoor Art Activities
    ...
    our learning activitiesactivities.
    Outdoor Art Activities

    (view changes)
    2:52 pm
  6. page Assessing Ecoliteracy Activities edited On this page we will be using a simple rubric to assess the effectiveness of some of our learning …
    On this page we will be using a simple rubric to assess the effectiveness of some of our learning activities
    (view changes)
    2:49 pm

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